How often you need to go to the doctor depends on your age and any previous health problems you might have had. In general, even if you’re healthy, it can be useful to come in for a checkup once a year.
Dentists generally want to see people for cleanings twice a year. About.com has a list of reasons why it’s a good idea to see your dentist regularly and questions you can ask a new dentist. You might also need to see other specialists: women should see a gynecologist once a year, while anyone with skin moles should talk to their doctor about visiting a dermatologist twice a year.
Finding a health care professional
Finding a new doctor or dentist can be tricky, and your insurance requirements can make it even more so. Online review sites can be unreliable; you might have better luck asking for recommendations from friends or coworkers.
Once you get a name, you should be able to check the doctor’s status with your state’s medical licensing board; such board certifications are often searchable online by name. Then you can run the name through your insurance provider’s website to see if the doctor is in or out of network, which can affect the amount you have to pay.
The medical tests you need will also vary with your age and gender. Women will probably receive a Pap test once a year when younger, and then down to once every three years if they consistently test normally. Women can expect annual mammograms, and men checks for signs of prostate or colon cancer, as they age. You should have tests for blood pressure at least once a year, and cholesterol screenings less frequently.
You’ll also need to stay current with vaccines, as some need booster shots as you age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a schedule of vaccinations for adults. If you’re planning a trip abroad, check with the CDC or your doctor to see if other vaccinations are recommended for your travel destination.
When should you go to the doctor?
Finally, what if you’re actually feeling sick? Generally, you don’t need to go to a doctor unless your illness is prolonged (a fever that lasts more than two days, for example) or you’re expelling blood. If you need reassurance, call your doctor’s office and describe your symptoms.
One tactic that can help is discussing possible health problems with your doctor during an otherwise normal checkup; that way the doctor, and you, will have more information to judge whether a run-of-the-mill sickness might turn into something more serious.
A regular workout routine can help you lose weight and stay healthy, but there is more to fitness than toiling away on the treadmill. What you eat has a big effect on how much energy you have and how beneficial your exercise efforts are for your body. Get the right workout fuel before and after ...
It’s hard to believe that a food that burns your tongue, makes your eyes water, and causes you to sweat could possibly be good for your health. The surprising truth is that spicy foods really are good for you. Peppers and other hot spices do more than just kick up the flavor of your food. ...
Have you been feeling blue for a while? Do you find yourself avoiding people or activities that you formerly loved? We all face feelings of sadness and anxiety at times in our lives, but if these feelings seem to be staying with you over time, you may want to consider whether something more serious is ...
Are you getting enough healthy sleep? If you regularly wake up feeling tired, the answer just might be “no.” You might want to be aware of sleep apnea, one of the most common sleep disorders. Check out these healthy sleep facts and learn how sleep apnea robs its sufferers of good, sound sleep. Do you get enough ...
According to the U.S. Department of Health, asking your doctor a few important questions during your visit leads to better results, safety, and satisfaction. But talking to doctors can seem intimidating. That’s why knowing the right questions to ask your physician — and thinking about those questions before you arrive at the appointment — is important. Consider ...
Why are you moving?
Total Voters: 53